640K Memory – Working memory

There was time Bill Gates many years ago said that 640K of memory for the latest IBM PC’s that came out would be enough than you would ever need or something to that effect.  640K of memory!  At my company which isn’t at the front line of keeping up with technology they now order laptops/desktops with minimum 8 GB of ram.  Basically 8 GB of ram because alot of people with running so many applications like Microsoft Excel need more than 4 GB of ram.

If you go back super far in the days of the first apple pc’s it’s working memory was like something 64K.  That was like a 8 bit computer and I was too little at the time to even know what a bit in a computer did anyways.  Now being in the computer industry most of my adult life my own personal computer have to have at least 16 GB of memory.  What a difference we have gone through from the days of Bill Gates thinking with a jump in RAM to 640K that you would never need more memory in a pc than that!

You see the RAM in your computer is the working memory of the pc.  Stuff is put into the pc’s working memory and swapped out with other pieces of information at a crazy rate. Our brains too have a working memory type of setup also which I’ve read about.  How much can we hold into our own working memory while learning another language.  I know while listening and talking korean my working memory seems to be not like that 640K that impressed Bill gates in the 80’s but rather like the Apple II.Apple__II

Because I usually have ‘korean only’ class on friday nights its a fun way to end the work week.  I say a word…get it wrong and continue the sentence and then a couple of seconds later the teacher is saying the sentence back to me and I’m like is that because she’s correcting me?  What did I say?  Then I’m like oh I did say it wrong but alot of times I can’t even remember exactly what I just said or said wrong.  Yes not remember.  Did I say a word wrong?  What did I do wrong?  Can you repeat that please is something I say lot but I do say it in korean at least.

This limited working memory condition is something I encounter alot while listening to a sentence and forgetting by the time the teacher gets to the end of the sentence what the first part of the sentence was!  Yes alot.  Your focus is like that small 1 cm of window with your attention and as it is moved through a whole line of korean while you are listening I notice I forget alot of the content of what was said.  Yes it could be that I didn’t understand a part of the sentence or word or something but your working memory when learning another language is very small.  At least for me.  I notice it so much more with working with teachers on italki.com because in self-study I would either read something alot over and over or listen to something a number of times but when you have a real life person talking to you in another language your both ON and attention focused but at the same time working with the same amount of memory as that 8 bit pc that could display graphic’s at best that looked like the one below.


I need to get out of the K’s for memory and into the GB’s!



Friday Nights

So been scheduling alot of my friday nights to be a class with a teacher through italki.com that does the class all in Korean.  I still don’t even feel like I have the motions like I should preparing for friday night but I still continue with this scheduling.  It’s a fitting way to end the week with a hour that flies by like a snap of your fingers.  Your on during that time but I must say also tiring as it takes alot of mental energy.

The teacher is very nice and believes the methodology of teaching you a language through the same language your learning is the most effective route.  I don’t know if it is but I have put it into my scheduling and I find it at the very least a wakeup call of just how well your korean language learning is going.

The teachers starts out with say around 15 minutes of conversion asking you things and of course you answering back or trying to answer back in korean.  Then based off some training materials, one of which is ‘Active Korean’ text book series which I happened to have the first edition of the series in my korean language learning library,  she goes through the material and exercises all in korean.  Then alittle summary of sorts along with things you should do to prepare for next time for the last few minutes.  I usually only know we are near the end if I peek at the clock.  Most of the classes I would be so wired it was only when she was saying things like good bye in korean and starting to wave I knew the class was over.  That was very funny because I couldn’t stop telling the wife how fast that hour went.

Now that I’ve done this a few times so to speak I’m little more relaxed on friday night but it still is such an interesting experience of at least an hour totally in the korean language. That is how I usually spend my friday nights now.  No going out, taking the wife to a nice restaurant or stuff.  A brief totally immersive hour in the korean language.  It’s great!


italki – progress

Well I seem to be in a routine with a couple of teachers at italki and I have one main one that I study with twice a week.  Italki is a great platform for hooking up students with either professional level teachers or community level tutors.

I would like the time and of course money to try others because it’s a great resource when your a busy working professional and how I wish I would have started sooner.  I’ve hit the 75th lesson today and I found my primary teacher I’m using around the October time frame of last year.

The classes are adding up but I’m really glad to have the teaching and also the accountability that sometimes at least for me as mainly a self studying student never really had or at least didn’t put on myself.  I can’t hide and pretend I know something as you can do alot when your studying by yourself so I’m glad I’ve gotten into the italki community and finding some teachers who I think are goddesses (both my teachers are women) with patience so bless them because it would be funny if I were teaching english to others that wanted to learn whether I myself would have that ability to teach english and see the frustation of something learning a language you are a native level speaker in and have that understanding and patience a really good language teacher should have.

I was trying to explain to my wife who wanted to send a message to my sister yesterday for her birthday (aren’t we lazy here in the US and use facebook and other ways to wish someone a happy birthday) so I was asked how to spell my sister’s name.

Hmmm…..well I said I guess it’s what you call her.  My sister’s name is Debra but I would call her Deb or Debby (but then again you could spell it Debbie) and that’s kind of short for Debra which is how my father addresses her and the long formal way is Deborah which is her birth name.  Wow I thought to myself for one american name this sounds really confusing trying to explain to someone just asking me how to spell a female name like that and they’re all related and different people call her different instances of the Debra name.  Jeezzz english is really confusing at times.


So today is Sunday and the wife and myself have been going to a korean church now pretty much every sunday for a number of months now.  She wanted to start going and I have just a small amount of experience with churches since my family didn’t really get involved too much with churches when I was growing up.

It’s a smaller amount of people in this congregation of a korean based church outside of chicago that also shares their space with two other churches for different countries.

So it’s a ‘new’ experience for me just going to a church every weekend just in itself but the fact that it’s 100% korean for the most part (some english on the lyrics ) it’s the exposure to an all korean environment that at times I can drift off with my attention.  I’m an adult full blown into learning korean but still deal with the issue of ‘comprehensible input’ and for the most part a good majority is not comprehensible at real speed.  I don’t have a good grasp of church proceedings to begin with so it’s tough at times trying to figure out how to utilize this time for both religious and language learning sides of the equation.  So I dealt with drifting off and daydreaming today.  Not good but is the reality of what happened today.

Some of the people there have been extremely nice and we are fortunate in their kindness as I sit through a majority of it without know much about what is actually going on.  The head on realization of your korean language level and how low it is as opposed to how you would like to think it is or should be after long attempts at learning korean is something to deal with all on it’s own I think.

It will be nice if I can get to point later this year that I can understand at least sections of the sermon as opposed to today they had a guest speaker that is spending much of his time at a church in Russia but I didn’t know anything about it till on the drive home the wife explained to me what the pastor was speaking on.  Korean, English(we spoke briefly after the end of the service) and trying to learn Russian for this gentlemen and his wife.  That’s a very interesting speech I missed out on today due to lack of understanding and attention focus problems.

I spoke briefly with the pastor of the church on whether his children are fluent in korean as they are raised here in the states and go to school here so they are that flip flop of children of korean speakers and are more fluent in english than korean but he uses korean in the house so they will speak korean as they get older.  Good to see that and hope them all the best as the pastor has been very kind and understanding with a new member of his congregation that is the only american in it.


Talk to me in Korean – Hacked

Saw the other day Talktomeinkorean.com site was down and basically just showing ‘OK’ in the top left corner and now I go there today and first saw a site which appeared to be mostly in Chinese and now it looks like below


What in the world are people hacking this great site?  Jeeezzz pain in the butt they are getting so much attention from negative elements.  Hope they figure out how to fix this soon.

Still waiting for my refund from fluentu.com.  I mentioned in my last post how immediately they put a charge on my credit card even though there is a 15 day trial ….supposedly….. and now I wait days to see a refund.

Just got done with my 1st skype korean language lesson of the week.  My brain hurts right now but it’s good being so accountable to someone as I proceed on this path again. Now onto seeing if I can find another korean drama to watch.  What does dramafever.com have that might interest me for my next drama?

FluentU – Stay away

So I’ve seen this site FluentU.com around for awhile.  They provide video’s and other content at what is supposed to be a level you can learn from.  Korean wa available…… So I’m a sucker for good web sites that may help me in my korean language learning journey so I pulled trigger tonight to check it out.

They have a 15 day free trial but I knew something was wrong when I had to enter a credit card to get in that far.  I used my paypal account and within 10 minutes I was trying to figure out how to cancel my subscription, submit a ticket to these guys and send a email back to their email to me giving me a .pdf file that they charged me 30 dollars already that this was only for the trial and believe me after the 10 minutes I knew this was a complete waste of money and time!

There were a total 14 videos for korean language learners.  They show levels from newbie to native level with at least 5 more levels in between these. So yes 14 videos total with most of them at newbie to beginner level.  No videos at all for the higher levels or should I say no videos for most of the levels.

Concept is cool but this implementation from them is horrible.  Just going through 뽀로로 video in newbie section they tried to cut up the video’s into sections you could learn from.  The only problem is the video cuts didn’t match up with the word.  For example the word for bag – 가방 they cut after the ka sound.  Not helpful if your trying to learn the word for bag.

Then for the sounds of sentences they had computer automated voice translate those sentences.  Come on your charging 30 dollars a month for the premium plan and video editing and voice automation is all you could provide and might I say a very poor job of it.

What can I say.  Stay away from these guys at least if your learning korean.  I’m trying to get my 30 dollars back but I won’t let this ruin my love of 뽀로로!


Chest cold

I seemed to have caught a chest cold twice this year already.  I missed some workouts but I didn’t miss any Skype Korean lessons.  It’s effected my throat and hard to talk at times but the Korean learning must go on.  Not quite the strong start to 2017 I was planning but this cold or whatever it is seems to be lingering around.

Almost done watching ‘Goblin’ on dramafever.com.  I liked it a lot in the beginning stages but it’s dragging out the last few episodes.  But in either case this is my first Korean drama of 2017 that I watched.


My Korean teacher that is based out of Australia uses Quizlet.com website.  I don’t see SRS type functionality there and seems more like straight flash cards ….at least the part I use it there for.  Getting used to that site.

Finally I like my apple tv a bit more than the roku device I was using.  Dramafever is the main app I use on that since I pay for the yearly subscription.  Viki.com has some Korean subtitles on some of it’s content but as I poked around it’s not consistent so a bit of a disappointment.  Would be nice if a drama service provider had content with all of it’s subtitles available in Korean instead of here and there.  But even though my apple tv unit can display Korean subtitles with no problem where the roku device couldn’t I still like it.